/ / / 8 Forest River RV Electrical Problems: Easy Solutions Guide

8 Forest River RV Electrical Problems: Easy Solutions Guide

Are you facing any Forest River RV electrical problems? Although these motorhomes are built to last for many years, getting on the road exposes them to elements, causing connections to rust or break. Keeping your electrical systems in perfect working condition will guarantee a trouble-free camping trip without sudden power outages that can ruin your trip.

I have used my Forest River RV for over five years and had my share of electrical issues, including short circuits, battery issues, overloaded circuits, short circuits, and more. Using my experiences, I can help you uncover the common RV electrical problems and recommend the best solutions. So pull out your toolbox and let’s quickly look at these Forest River RV problems below.

Forest River RV Electrical Problem
Life on the road can be quite electrifying until your RV seems to have other plans. Embrace the challenges that come, fix the fuses, and continue rolling toward your next RViving adventure. Voltage Voyager

What’s Powering My RV?

Forest River RVs are fitted with two distinct electrical systems: a 12-volt Direct current (DC) system that draws power from the battery source and a 120-volt alternating current (AC) connected to a generator or power outlet. In addition, the RV comes with a generator.

What's Powering My RV?
Credit: www.youtube.com @TheRVPastime

When plugged in, the power converter in the Forest River RV changes the 120-volt AC power into the 12-volt DC power. The delivered 12-volt DC power supports the microwave, wall outlets, and roof air conditioner unit.

Forest River RV Electrical Problems and Solutions Table at the Glance

Over time and with continued use, your Forest River RV may experience varying electrical problems. Here, I will highlight the various RV electrical problems and their solutions in the table below:


How to Solve Them

Oven not Turning On:

Inspect wiring, check and replace the heating element

Refrigerator not functioning:

Check the power supply, replace the thermostat

AC doesn’t run:

Reset breaker, check and substitute capacitor

No power supply in the RV:

Ensure proper connection, inspect the power inlet

Outlets malfunctioning:

Redistribute load, tighten all connections

Circuit breaker panel issues:

Reset circuit breakers, check and replace damaged panel

Wires coming loose:

Tighten connections, substitute damaged wires

Unpleasant smell:

Inspect for overheating, repair wires, replace wires

RVing is simply a dance of wheels and wires. When the rhythm falters because of electrical issues, then it’s time to troubleshoot and get your RV back on the road. Amped Adventures

8 Forest River Electrical Problems and Fixes

Anything running on electricity is bound to experience electrical issues sooner or later. Let’s quickly look into these issues and their fixes below:

1. Oven Isn’t Turning On

One main Forest River RV electrical issue I have faced is the oven not turning on. When this happens, it might be because the oven is not getting adequate power to run correctly. Usually, the RV’s oven can only work when connected to a 120-volt power supply.

Forest River RV Electrical Problems. Oven Isn't Turning On
Credit: www.youtube.com @campingworld @Myksgarage

In case your oven is not turning on, you can rectify this problem by doing the following:

  • Confirm whether the wires are firmly connected to the oven. If the power is getting to your stove but not the oven, it means the oven or stove has a problem. This may require the replacement of one of the repairable parts.
  • Check whether the converter’s breaker is turned off; if it is, turn it on. Ensure that the breaker supplying the oven is not tripped.
  • Analyze the wiring, the ignition system, and the elements to ensure they are in perfect condition. These parts are repairable.

2. The Refrigerator is Not Functioning

Another electrical issue I have experienced with my Forest River RV, and many users also complain about is the refrigerator not functioning.

The Refrigerator is Not Functioning
Credit: www.youtube.com @Lakeshore-rv

Here is how you can solve issues with your RV refrigerator:

  • Confirm whether the connection is not interrupted to ensure the fridge gets enough power.
  • Check other appliances using the same power supply, such as the oven, if the connection is good to confirm if they work optimally. If they are, it means the 120V power system is in good condition; if not, check the 120V power system and converter breaker.
  • After checking all general fuses, analyze the fuses in the fridge to see if they have blown or require replacement.
  • You may also have a bad control panel or other parts that are causing malfunctioning of the refrigerator.
  • Track down the malfunctioning part and purchase a replacement. Sometimes, the appliance may require a technician to deal with the repairs.

3. AC Doesn’t Run

Nothing is as bad as having your air conditioner malfunction during your RVing adventure. Having experienced AC issues on my Forest River RV, I can attest that the air conditioner usually stops running because the 120V power system fails to get to the rooftop AC unit.  

AC Doesn't Run
Credit: www.youtube.com @piercedasian

Let me share a few solutions I have used to resolve this AC issue:

  • Begin by checking whether the breaker of the power converter is working and reset the breakers where necessary.
  • If the breaker is in perfect condition, you should troubleshoot your 120V power system.

4. No Power Supply in the RV

I have faced the problem of having no power supply in my Forest River RV several times. In most cases, this problem may be caused by:

No Power Supply in the RV
Credit: www.youtube.com @smorefunrvfamily3313
  • A power blackout;
  • The breaker may have tripped;
  • A blown-up fuse;
  • Issues with your battery or inverter;
  • A short in your electrical system.

Here are a few recommendations that can help you solve an RV power supply problem:

  • If there is a blackout, confirm whether the campground or other trailers have power. If there is no power, you must wait until the power is back.
  • Determine whether the breaker has tripped or your external power supply extension cord was unplugged or came loose. Just reset the breaker or plug back the cord, and your problem will be resolved.
  • If your breaker trips again, contact the campground manager to check their system for any short. You should also check whether your generator is out of oil or fuel and needs refilling before sending power to your recreational vehicle.
  • Ensure the extension cord from the external power supply to your RV is secured on all ends. In addition, the shore power should be plugged into a 30-amp power outlet, not a 50-amp outlet.
  • Check your inverter or converter and battery to determine whether these parts have failed. You may need to replace any malfunctioning inverter or converter.

5. Outlets Malfunctioning

Malfunctioning of outlets is another electrical issue I have encountered with my Forest River motor house. You may confirm that all your appliances are working, but the outlets are not. This issue may be caused mainly by:

Outlets Malfunctioning
Credit: www.youtube.com @tradewindsrvcenter4037
  • GFCI malfunctions.
  • Defective Converter breakers.  

Here is how you can troubleshoot outlets malfunctioning:

  • Check the GFCI and try resetting it to determine whether the reset process will resolve the problem.
  • If the problem is not the GFCI, inspect the converter breakers and reset them where necessary.

6. Circuit Breaker Panel Not Working

Another problem I have encountered severally is circuit breaker malfunctions. The breaker monitors the circuit and shuts down immediately in case of an overload.

Circuit Breaker Panel Not Working
Credit: www.youtube.com @MyRVWorks
If the circuit breaker panel is not functioning, a simple reset will bring it back to life.

7. Wires Coming Loose

Wires play an important role as they guarantee the optimum conductance of all RV appliances by supplying enough power. In addition, faulty cables can be hazardous and must always be in perfect condition.

Wires Coming Loose
Credit: www.youtube.com @MyRVWorks
If you notice that your RV’s electrical cables are loosened, call an electrician to fix this electrical problem.

8. Unpleasant Smell

There was a time when my Forest River RV coach emitted an unpleasant smell, and I never knew the problem was caused by malfunctioning electrical components or systems. Issues with the RV’s battery may cause an unpleasant odor. When the battery is tripped or overcharged, it will emit sulfur fumes, resulting in a rotten-egg smell in the RV.

Unpleasant Smell
Credit: www.youtube.com @drawersystems
Although this is not a common problem, it is serious, and every RV owner should know about it. Call the technicians to solve the pungent smell problem because resolving the battery problem yourself or using the battery disconnect switch can be risky.
Important: While waiting for the professionals, ensure all the windows of your RV are open to allow fresh air inside. If you are unsure about the RV electrical problems you are experiencing, it is essential to call roadside assistance or an RV service technician.

Instead of messing with electricity without knowing what you are doing, try resetting the GFCI or breaker and call the technician if the RV electrical problems are unresolved. This will prevent serious injuries or even death because of a simple mistake.

The Tools You Need To Diagnose Electrical Problems

When I first acquired my Forest River RV, I never used to carry tools that could help me deal with minor electrical issues. However, over time, I learned the necessary diagnostic tools I needed and included them in my toolbox during all my RVing escapades. Here are a few must-have tools that will help you in troubleshooting and diagnosing electrical problems:

1. Multimeter

This device has two probes and can help you confirm whether your amperage is at the correct levels. In addition, they can help you accurately check DC current, Diode, Resistance, and AC/DC Voltage. Spin the dial on the front of the multimeter and use the probes to diagnose where the problem lies.

2. Voltmeter

Although similar to a multimeter, they are separate tools. You must choose the volts to get precise readings when using a voltmeter.

Credit: www.youtube.com @LRNFZX

3. Continuity or Circuit Tester

This device consists of a light fitted onto a probe. The alligator clip is located on the other side, and you must touch both ends along an electrical path. If the light illuminates, it means your circuit is complete.

4. Misc. Testers

Although different miscellaneous testers are available on the market, it’s best to have them in your RV toolbox. Most of these devices test voltage and may be helpful when facing RV electrical issues. They include:

Misc. Testers
Credit: www.amazon.com
  • Wand Voltage Tester: The electrical tester should be near connectors and wires to test the voltage range.
  • Digital Clamp Tester: This tester is used for advanced electrical work but is better than a multimeter. It has a current sensor and also serves as a multimeter.
  • Non-Contact Voltage Tester or Inductance Tester: This device provides an easy way of testing whether the voltage is present at an outlet, light, switches, electrical wiring, or breakers.
  • Solenoid Voltage Tester: This tester is used in testing polarity and voltage. Although it is much easier to use and cheaper to purchase, it may not be as precise as a multimeter. 
  • Plug-in Circuit Analyzer: This device is meant for three-pronged outlets, not two. The easy-to-use circuit tester is used in testing ground outlets.
  • Neon Voltage Tester: Although it’s a small device, it can tell you whether the voltage is present or absent and whether the outlet is correctly grounded. However, it won’t show you how much voltage there is, and you would require a voltmeter.

Users’ Experience with Forest River RV Electrical Problems

Most user experiences on the Forest River RV electrical issues were positive and many users got the help they needed to resolve the problem from fellow forum members or the company’s customer care representatives. Below I will highlight a few user experiences from Forest River RV owners:

I encountered converter issues with my Forest River RV. The company’s support team guided me step-by-step to address the exact issue with the charging relay. Through their patience and expertise, I resolved the problem got my battery charging properly, and restored the electrical system to optimal function. CanuckKamper, RV Owner
I discovered an issue with my Forest River RV’s 12v system, and the Reddit community forum proved invaluable. Fellow owners shared their insights on troubleshooting the faulty circuit breaker that was interrupting power to the lighting and refrigerator. With their input, I replaced the breaker and everything was up and running within no time. kc2485, RV Owner
After a 6-hour drive, all appliances and major electrical components on my Forest River travel trailer weren’t functioning. The problem persisted even after troubleshooting and DIY repairs, but everything started functioning normally again after towing the motorhome back home and allowing it to sit. I suspect a short circuit aggravated by the heavy rain. WiscoDiscoWarrior, RV Owner


How Do I Reset My Forest River RV Power?

To reset a Forest River RV power, turn off the power and disconnect all electrical appliances. You should reset the circuit breaker inside the RV and GFCI outlets and turn the power supply on.

How Do You Find An Electrical Short In An RV?

To detect an electrical short in an RV, you can use a DC clump meter alongside the wires. When the clump meter is positioned after the short circuit, your meter will show 0 amperes.

How Do I Know If A Fuse Is Blown In My RV?

To determine if your RV’s fuse is blown or not, you can use a test light or multimeter. By using these inexpensive devices, you can confirm the situation of your RV’s fuses.


These are just some of the Forest River RV electrical problems you might face during your camping journeys. Awareness of these issues can help you prepare to deal with them in case they arise. Whether you are just starting out on your RVing journey or are an experienced camper, having the knowledge and peace of mind about your RV’s electrical safety will ensure you and your family are safe and happy.

If you have doubts or feel uncomfortable about resolving these RV electrical problems yourself, it’s best to consult a qualified electrician to guarantee your safety and that of your RV. A professional technician will get your Forest River motorhome back up and running within the shortest time possible.

Did I miss any Forest River electrical problems? Let me know in the comment section below.

Similar Posts